UWE Bristol Lecturer in Psychology Dr Trang Mai Tran part of a research team seeking to develop and evaluate staff training around the mental health of autistic students at universities

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UWE Bristol Lecturer in Psychology Dr Trang Mai Tran part of research team seeking to develop and evaluate staff training around the mental health of autistic students at universities.

Dr Trang Mai Tran is part of a research team along with colleagues from the University of Bristol, University of York, National Autistic Society, and Spectrum York. They are working on a research project funded by the Office for Students, which seeks to develop and evaluate staff training around the mental health of autistic students at universities.

Of 2.38 million UK university students, 2.4 per cent are autistic. Of those nearly 60,000, around 80 per cent will have clinical anxiety, up to 70 per cent clinical depression and a third will attempt suicide. This project seeks to address this problem by developing, delivering and evaluating the first Autistic Mental Health training programme for university staff in the UK.

  • Phase one will involve the team working with autistic students to design online training, then delivering that training to staff at several universities, with evaluation and refinement processes.
  • Phase two will evaluate the medium-term impact across an academic year, looking at changes in staff practices and investigating student experiences with staff who have completed the training.

The funding for the project comes from the Office for Students Mental Health Funding Competition that aims to support innovation and intersectional approaches to target mental health support for students.

The research team are currently looking to invite a UWE student who is on the autism spectrum or identifies as autistic to join the research panel. They particularly welcome interest from male students to ensure balance and diversity of experience in the advisory panel.

For further information please contact Trang Mai Tran at trang.tran@uwe.ac.uk